Love, leave me like the light,
The gently passing day;
We would not know, but for the night,
When it has slipped away.

So many hopes have fled,
Have left me but the name
Of what they were. When love is dead,
Go thou, beloved, the same.

Go quietly; a dream
When done, should leave no trace
That it has lived, except a gleam
Across the dreamer’s face.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on June 28, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.

translated from the Spanish by William George Williams

Lord, I ask a garden in a quiet spot
where there may be a brook with a good flow,
an humble little house covered with bell-flowers,
and a wife and a son who shall resemble Thee.

I should wish to live many years, free from hates,
and make my verses, as the rivers
that moisten the earth, fresh and pure.
Lord, give me a path with trees and birds.

I wish that you would never take my mother,
for I should wish to tend to her as a child
and put her to sleep with kisses, when somewhat old
she may need the sun.

I wish to sleep well, to have a few books,
an affectionate dog that will spring upon my knees,
a flock of goats, all things rustic,
and to live off the soil tilled by my own hand.

To go into the field and flourish with it;
to seat myself at evening under the rustic eaves,
to drink in the fresh mountain perfumed air
and speak to my little one of humble things.

At night to relate him some simple tale,
teach him to laugh with the laughter of water
and put him to sleep thinking that he may later on
keep that freshness of the moist grass.

And afterward, the next day, rise with dawn
admiring life, bathe in the brook,
milk my goats in the happiness of the garden
and add a strophe to the poem of the world.

 


 

Señor, yo pido un huerto 

 

Señor, yo pido un huerto en un rincón tranquilo
donde haya una quebrada con aguas abundantes
una casita humilde cubierta de campánulas,
y una mujer y un hijo que sean como Vos.

Yo quisiera vivir muchos años, sin odios,
y hacer como los ríos que humedecen la tierra
mis versos y mis actos frescos y de puros.
Señor, dadme un sendero con árboles y pájaros.

Yo deseo que nunca os llevéis a mi madre,
porque a mi me gustara cuidarla cual a un niño
y dormirla con besos, cuando ya viejecita 
necesite del sol.

Quiero tener buen sueño, algunos pocos libros
un perro cariñoso que me salte a las piernas,
un rebaño de cabras, toda cosa silvestre,
y vivir de la tierra labrada por mis manos.

Salir a la campiña, y florecer en ella;
sentarme por la tarde, bajo el rústico alero,
a beber aire fresco y olorosa a montaña,
y hablarle a mi pequeño de las cosas humildes

Por la noche contarle algún cuento sencillo,
enseñarle a reír con la risa del agua
y dormirle pensando en que pueda, a la tarde,
guardar esa frescura de la hierba embebida;

y luego, al otro día, levantarme a la aurora
admirando la vida, bañarme en la quebrada,
ordeñar a mis cabras en la dicha del huerto,
y agregar una estrofa al poema del mundo.

From Hispanic Anthology: Poems Translated From the Spanish by English and North American Poets (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1920), edited by Thomas Walsh. Translated from the Spanish by William G. Williams. This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on October 8, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

I shall come back without fanfaronade
Of wailing wind and graveyard panoply; 
But, trembling, slip from cool Eternity—
A mild and most bewildered little shade. 
I shall not make sepulchral midnight raid, 
But softly come where I had longed to be 
In April twilight’s unsung melody, 
And I, not you, shall be the one afraid. 

Strange, that from lovely dreamings of the dead 
I shall come back to you, who hurt me most. 
You may not feel my hand upon your head, 
I’ll be so new and inexpert a ghost. 
Perhaps you will not know that I am near,—
And that will break my ghostly heart, my dear. 

From Enough Rope (Boni & Liveright, 1926) by Dorothy Parker. This poem is in the public domain.

I DO not like my state of mind;
I’m bitter, querulous, unkind.
I hate my legs, I hate my hands,
I do not yearn for lovelier lands.
I dread the dawn’s recurrent light;
I hate to go to bed at night.
I snoot at simple, earnest folk.
I cannot take the gentlest joke.
I find no peace in paint or type.
My world is but a lot of tripe.
I’m disillusioned, empty-breasted.
For what I think, I’d be arrested.
I am not sick, I am not well.
My quondam dreams are shot to hell.
My soul is crushed, my spirit sore;
I do not like me any more.
I cavil, quarrel, grumble, grouse.
I ponder on the narrow house.
I shudder at the thought of men. . . .
I’m due to fall in love again.

From Enough Rope (Boni & Liveright, 1926) by Dorothy Parker. This poem is in the public domain.

ALWAYS I knew that it could not last
          (Gathering clouds, and the snowflakes flying),
Now it is part of the golden past;
    (Darkening skies, and the night-wind sighing)
It is but cowardice to pretend.
    Cover with ashes our love’s cold crater,––
Always I’ve known that it had to end
    Sooner or later.

Always I knew it would come like this
    (Pattering rain, and the grasses springing),
Sweeter to you is a new love’s kiss
    (Flickering sunshine, and young birds singing).
Gone are the raptures that once we knew,
    Now you are finding a new joy greater,––
Well, I’ll be doing the same thing, too,
    Sooner or later.

From Enough Rope (Boni & Liveright, 1926) by Dorothy Parker. This poem is in the public domain.

ALWAYS I knew that it could not last
          (Gathering clouds, and the snowflakes flying),
Now it is part of the golden past;
    (Darkening skies, and the night-wind sighing)
It is but cowardice to pretend.
    Cover with ashes our love’s cold crater,––
Always I’ve known that it had to end
    Sooner or later.

Always I knew it would come like this
    (Pattering rain, and the grasses springing),
Sweeter to you is a new love’s kiss
    (Flickering sunshine, and young birds singing).
Gone are the raptures that once we knew,
    Now you are finding a new joy greater,––
Well, I’ll be doing the same thing, too,
    Sooner or later.

From Enough Rope (Boni & Liveright, 1926) by Dorothy Parker. This poem is in the public domain.

A single flow’r he sent me, since we met.
     All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet—
     One perfect rose.

I knew the language of the floweret;
     “My fragile leaves,” it said, “his heart enclose.”
Love long has taken for his amulet
     One perfect rose.

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
     One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it’s always just my luck to get
     One perfect rose.

From Enough Rope (Boni & Liveright, 1926) by Dorothy Parker. This poem is in the public domain.

1.

No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
       Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss'd
       By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
       Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
               Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;
       For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
               And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

2.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall
       Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
       And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
       Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
               Or on the wealth of globed peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
       Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
               And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

3.

She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die;
       And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
       Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay, in the very temple of Delight
       Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
              Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine;
       His soul shalt taste the sadness of her might,
              And be among her cloudy trophies hung.

This poem is in the public domain, and was published in Keats: Poems Published in 1820 (The Clarendon Press, 1909).

I sit upon the white rocks by the bay,
Against whose hollows numberless, the waves
Will splash forevermore. The sunset laves
The deep with light. There rise far away
A mountain that has seemingly defied
The very clouds unchanged. And near, portending
That all created things will have an ending,
These crumbled crags lie by the ocean side!
O time! what element escapes your slow
And causeless move? These rough, resisting rocks,
Which the wind startled wave incessant mocks,
Are not to it unyielding even now.
The day is done, for once it had a beaming,
And so must all, whatever may be seeming.

From Manila: A Collection of Verse (Imp. Paredes, Inc., 1926) by Luis Dato. This poem is in the public domain. 

          from Swedish, the path moonlight lays over water

The ghost child fastens
his mouth to yours,
breathes your breath
from you so you cannot
cry out.
               He drew you creek side,
where you hung terrified,
gripping the deep-shaded
undercut bank above wild
rushing water, until finally
I heard you, came running.

What the drowned boy wants forever:
his mother, in time.
What he found:
a playmate his age.

                                   You,
eyes the color of seafoam,
the shining helmet of your
bowl-cut hair bright as
mångata over dark sea.

Tell me, lost ones: When
the moon melts, what
will we do with all that gold?

Copyright © 2017 Cathie Sandstrom. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Spring 2017.

I die of thirst beside the fountain 
I'm hot as fire, I'm shaking tooth on tooth 
In my own country I'm in a distant land 
Beside the blaze I'm shivering in flames 
Naked as a worm, dressed like a president 
I laugh in tears and hope in despair 
I cheer up in sad hopelessness 
I'm joyful and no pleasure's anywhere 
I'm powerful and lack all force and strength 
Warmly welcomed, always turned away.

I'm sure of nothing but what is uncertain 
Find nothing obscure but the obvious 
Doubt nothing but the certainties 
Knowledge to me is mere accident
I keep winning and remain the loser 
At dawn I say "I bid you good night"
Lying down I'm afraid of falling 
I'm so rich I haven't a penny 
I await an inheritance and am no one's heir 
Warmly welcomed, always turned away.

I never work and yet I labor 
To acquire goods I don't even want 
Kind words irritate me most 
He who speaks true deceives me worst 
A friend is someone who makes me think 
A white swan is a black crow 
The people who harm me think they help 
Lies and truth today I see they're one
I remember everything, my mind's a blank 
Warmly welcomed, always turned away.

Merciful Prince may it please you to know 
I understand much and have no wit or learning 
I'm biased against all laws impartially 
What's next to do? Redeem my pawned goods again! 
Warmly welcomed, always turned away.

From The Poems of François Villon translated by Galway Kinnell, published by Houghton Mifflin, © 1965. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.

I die of thirst beside the fountain 
I'm hot as fire, I'm shaking tooth on tooth 
In my own country I'm in a distant land 
Beside the blaze I'm shivering in flames 
Naked as a worm, dressed like a president 
I laugh in tears and hope in despair 
I cheer up in sad hopelessness 
I'm joyful and no pleasure's anywhere 
I'm powerful and lack all force and strength 
Warmly welcomed, always turned away.

I'm sure of nothing but what is uncertain 
Find nothing obscure but the obvious 
Doubt nothing but the certainties 
Knowledge to me is mere accident
I keep winning and remain the loser 
At dawn I say "I bid you good night"
Lying down I'm afraid of falling 
I'm so rich I haven't a penny 
I await an inheritance and am no one's heir 
Warmly welcomed, always turned away.

I never work and yet I labor 
To acquire goods I don't even want 
Kind words irritate me most 
He who speaks true deceives me worst 
A friend is someone who makes me think 
A white swan is a black crow 
The people who harm me think they help 
Lies and truth today I see they're one
I remember everything, my mind's a blank 
Warmly welcomed, always turned away.

Merciful Prince may it please you to know 
I understand much and have no wit or learning 
I'm biased against all laws impartially 
What's next to do? Redeem my pawned goods again! 
Warmly welcomed, always turned away.

From The Poems of François Villon translated by Galway Kinnell, published by Houghton Mifflin, © 1965. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.